Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Jab Phaagun Rang Jhamakte Hon

Posted on: March 24, 2016

This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in If this article appears in sites like and etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Greetings to all readers of the Blog on the occasion of the Holi, the festival of colours and joy.

The following two poems sum up the spirits of the Holi festival:

imaan ko imaan se milaao
irfaan ko irfaan se milaao
insaan ko insaan se milaao
geeta ko Quran se milaao
dair-o-haram mein ho na jung
holi khelo hamre sang
                   — Nazeer Khayyami

irfaan = knowledge, wisdom
dair-o-haram= temple and mosque.

tum deewali bankar jag ka tam door karo
main holi bankar bichhade hriday milaaunga
                    — Gopaldas Saksena ‘Neeraj’

An example of Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb of tolerance and the peaceful co-existence:

The Nawabs of Awadh were totally secular. They celebrated Hindu festivals like Holi, Diwali, Dussehra, etc regularly. During the reign of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah in 1846-1856, it so happened that in a particular year, Holi and Muharram coincidentally fell on the same day. Now Holi is a festival of joy, but Muharram is an occasion of sorrow. The Hindus of Lucknow got together and decided that they would not celebrate Holi that year out of respect for the religious sentiments of their Muslim brethren.

In the morning, the Nawab took out the Tazia procession from Bada Imambara to Karbala (in Lucknow) and buried it there. He then enquired as to why Holi was not being played. He was told the reason. The Nawab then declared that since Hindus had respected the sentiments of their Muslim brethren, it was also the duty of Muslims to respect the sentiments of their Hindu brethren. Hence he declared that Holi would be celebrated on the same day. He himself was the first to start playing Holi, and then it was played all over Awadh, though it was Muharram day. (Source: Justice Markhendey Katju’s Blog SATYAM BRUYAT. This incidence was also mentioned by Sahanshah Mirza, the great grandson of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah in his article which appeared in The Statesman, 5th January 2014).

Holi festival has been the favorite of Urdu poets but it was the most favorites of Nazeer Akbarabadi. I have come across about a dozen nazms of his on Holi festival. A few lines of one of his nazms where he talks about flirtation with the beloved during Holi festival

hum chaahnewaale hain tere jaan idhar dekh
holi hai sanam hans ke ik baar idhar dekh
ae rang bhare nau-gul-e-khaandan idhar dekh
holi bhi yehi kehati hai jaan idhar dekh
milne ka tere rakhten hain ham dhyaan idhar dekh

Nazeer Akbarabadi (1740-1830; real name Shaikh Wali Mohammed) is known to be the father of Urdu Nazm. He was a contemporary of Mir Taqi Mir. It is said that Nazeer Akbarabadi wrote poems in thousands but as of now only about 600 poems are available. I have gone through about 70 nazms and ghazals available on the internet. Most of his nazms are on common men (Aadmi Nama, Banjaara Nama, Paisa, Rotiyan), Ritu (Indian seasons), festivals like Holi, Diwaali, Raksha Bandhan, Krishna Janmashtmi, Eid, Shab-e-Baraat etc., on Gods like Ganesh Vandana, Guru Nanak Shah, Shri Krishna ji Ki Taareef Mein, Darsanaaye Paigamber-e-Khuda etc.  In addition, he wrote nazms on any conceivable topic like Pankha (Fan), Kakdi (Cucumber), Umas (Humidity), Swimming, Madari (street performer with monkey), Laddoo (Indian sweet), and many more.  An interesting feature of his nazms was that he discarded the Persian-Urdu mix  and instead  he wrote in Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu mix). Hence he is also called ‘common men’s poet’.  He was ustad of Urdu poet and satirist Akbar Allahabadi.

On the occasion of Holi festivals, I have chosen one of his Holi nazms  ‘Jab Phaagun Rang Jhamakten Hon Tab Dekh Bahaaren Holi Ki’ which is one of my favorite holi songs. The nazm is sung by Chhaaya Ganguli in her sonorous voice, and it is set to music by none other than  Muzzafar Ali, the director of films like Gaman (1978), Umrao Jaan (1981), Anjuman (1986) and the Jaanisaar(2015).

The original nazm is very longish but in this song only some select verses have been taken. This was one of the songs sung by Chhaaya Ganguli in a concert ‘Husn-e-Jaana’ held in New Delhi sometime in 2001. Later, it was included in the music album ‘Husn-e-Jaana’ (2001).

Song – Jab Phaagun Rang Jhamakte Hon (NFS)(2001) Singers – Chhaaya Ganguli, Lyrics – Nazeer Akbarabaadi, MD – Muzzafar Ali


jab phaagun rang jhamakte hon
tab dekh bahaaren holi ki
tab dekh bahaaren holi ki
jab phaagun rang jhamakte

pariyon ke rang damkate hon
khum sheesh jaam chhalakte hon
mehboob nashe mein chhakte hon
jab phaagun rang jhamakte hon
jab phaagun rang jhamakte hon

naach rangeeli pariyon ka
kuchh bheegi taanen holi ki
kuchh table kadhken rang bhare
kuchh gunghroo  taal chhanakten hon
jab phaagun rang jhamakte hon
jab phaagun rang jhamakte hon

munh laal gulaabi aankhen hon
aur haathon mein pichkaari ho
uss rang bhari pichkaari ko
angiya par tak kar maari ho
seenon se rang dhalakten hon
tab dekh bahaaren holi ki

jab phaagun rang jhamkate hon
tab dekh bahaaren holi ki
tab dekh bahaaren holi ki
jab phaagun rang jhamkate hon
jab phaagun rang jhamkate hon

Lyrics in Hindi script (Provided by Sudhir)

जब फागुन रंग झमकते हों
तब देख बहारें होली की
तब देख बहारें होली की
जब फागुन रंग झमकते हों

पारियों के रंग दमकते हों
ख़ुम शीश जाम छलकते हों
महबूब नशे में छकते हों
जब फागुन रंग झमकते हों
जब फागुन रंग झमकते हों

नाच रंगीली परीयों का
कुछ भीगी तानें होली की
कुछ तबले खड़कें रंग भरे
कुछ घुंघरू ताल छनकते हों
जब फागुन रंग झमकते हों
जब फागुन रंग झमकते हों

जब फागुन रंग झमकते हों
तब देख बहारें होली की
तब देख बहारें होली की
जब फागुन रंग झमकते हों
जब फागुन रंग झमकते हों

1 Response to "Jab Phaagun Rang Jhamakte Hon"

Bharatbhai would be overjoyed to hear the song. We met her recently in the programme organized by him under the aegis of Sargam where Lata-Noorjehan songs were played with the same theme and raagas.
Kishore Desai of Mukesh NFS fame was also present.


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